How did we get into this mess?
Of course it is up to debate if we actually are in a mess. When I talk about a mess, I am referring to the political situation and the prospects for the immediate future of the societies of the west. I think that both left en right will agree that this is a mess.
I am an analyst at heart. And with that mindset I started looking into this question. It became a fascinating journey into depth-psychology, evolution, economics and philosophy.
Now before getting your hopes up, I have to put a damper on it. Yes, I believe I did find an answer (at least partly). However finding an answer is not the same as finding a solution. There seems to be no solution except education which has te be a continuous never ending process.
Another thing is that there is no real conclusion. There is no line or even paragraph that sums it all up. Or rather, there is, but it is impossible to derive a clear meaning from it without understanding what went into that line.
That line btw is this: Humans are ill equipped to handle prosperity.
See? You probably have a little ‘feeling’ for what I might mean with that line, but the true depth of it is lost. About the only thing that is clarified with this line is the education part. If we are indeed ill equipped, then we must learn to handle it.
In this article I will not dive in depth in each subject that forms part of the whole. I would encourage you to learn more about each subject on your own. There is a wealth of knowledge out there and a more in depth study will increase your knowledge about it and its role in the whole. In this article I will just try to show how these different subjects fit together.
One last point before we dive in: I will not try to provide an air-tight case. If you like to pick points, please do… just don’t bother me with it. It is impossible to write concise and precise at the same time. I take brevity over exhaustive -and often times repetitive- depth. However I would be glad to receive thoughtful comments and encourage you to mail me with any suggestions, questions or criticisms you might have.
With that, here we go…
Static forces and levers that shape political discourse
To set the stage, lets take a look at the highest possible level: I live in the assumption that there is an objective universe that we all live in.
Sure, I have heard the talk about demon’s, simulations, multiverses etc etc. However for all practical purposes it is of no use whatsoever to believe any of these. If it makes you sleep better to believe any of them, be my guest. Other than that, they are just mind games without practical consequences.
The reason for rejection of these idea’s is simple: they do not impact your every day life. As soon as you stop believing in them, they hold no power. You can safely ignore them completely, and at no time in your life will you experience something adverse that could have been prevented by one of these theories. Not counting encounters with zealots.
Religion is a bit different, but even the Gods refrain from taking a predictive active role in our lives. So, again, for all practical purposes we are on our own.
Even though the universe is objective, i.e. reality, this does not mean that we can observe the true nature of the universe. I.e. we cannot see reality. Humans (and any other species) have evolved to survive, not to observe reality. Our senses and indeed our mind exist for one purpose only: To help us survive. Truth be **bleep**.
The situation is not hopeless though. While we cannot sense reality, we can through reasoning, experimentation and rejection of false propositions get closer to the true nature of the universe. Even if we never get the full picture, we can get so close so as not make any difference at all. This process (not the result!) is called ‘science’.
Nihilists (post-modernists) will try to convince you that ‘anything goes’. “Reality is what you think it is man…”. No it isn’t. And they know it as well, because right after they tell you this they will reject your view and demand that you pay/feed them.
The reality we live in is called: the world. The world is a nasty place, nature is constantly trying to kill us off. Not out of ill intent, nature just is. Nature constantly evolves, just as soon as we think we got it sussed out, it changes and bites.
Nature is chaos. Here we meet depth psychology. We have evolved to understand this aspect of nature. We had to. We would go mad/extinct if we didn’t. Even before humans became homo sapiens we developed a basic understanding of this chaos. This understanding is still present in our brains, anchored in the subconscious.
Mythically this chaos is called Ouroboros. The serpent that swallows its own tail. Ouroboros is present in almost all ancient lore. It is a symbol for the chaotic cyclic maternal unconscious aspects of nature.
Though maternal in essence, it is not feminine. But femininity has maternal aspects. Here we see our first connection with the mess of today: The left is dominated by females, and the left seems intent on the destruction of western culture, return to chaos. It almost seems as if western culture has blossomed, seeded and now reached the end of its life and must be recycled, find its way into Ouroboros to re-emerge as something new, something different, something better adapted to the new environment.
At this point I should interject that when I talk about male/female I am not referring to actual biological creatures, but to basic instincts, primordial drives that can express themselves in both sexes. Of course -as the naming implies- these drives are dominant in their respective sex, but as we will see later, they can be -are- present in either sex.
Men vs Women
Even though it is modern (or rather post-modern) to claim that women are the same as men, this is obviously wrong. Women are destined to give birth and rear children, men are destined to compete and create resources for the women and children. These roles are the result of a long evolutionary process. Evolution is very good at making sure that we are optimally adapted to our role. Women have evolved to ‘care for’ others, men have evolved to ‘produce resources’. Women are the receivers of the resources that men create/obtain. Women are only indirectly concerned with reality, their reality consist mostly of other people. Men on the other hand have to face reality daily to obtain resources. Men cooperate and have evolved competency and power hierarchies. Women have a much flatter societal structure, mostly based on seniority(?). Though at times the male hierarchy can be visible through marriage.
Biological men and women can in individual cases ignore their evolved role and deviate from it. As a collective, we cannot deviate from our roles without facing the possibility of extinction.
People do not live in isolation, but in groups. Culture is the way a group survives. Cultures are in a darwinian competition with each other. Still not all cultures are the same because the culture depends on genetics and the environment. Culture, genetics and the environment have three way relationship with each other. Of these three only the environment has some level of implicit stability which makes it the prime driver of both culture and genetics.
Cultures compete with each other, just like people (or animals) compete with each other. A culture -seen from the outside- seems like a living creature, even though it only exists in the minds of people. Culture is mostly kept alive (or comes into existence) through moral judgements by individuals. Culture replicates itself through customs and rituals. Customs and rituals usually carry a deeper meaning which ensures that the core morality of a culture is passed on to the next generation.
A culture is an attempt to wrest order from chaos. Nature (at the human level) is chaotic and unpredictable beyond the obvious physical laws.
Psychologically and mythically, culture is male and the opposite of chaos which is female. The development and maintenance of culture is in the domain of the male. The demise of the male role in society is therefore a sign of a culture in decline. This is the second link with current day western politics.
Evolutionary and historically speaking there have been cultures that have gone extinct. Through DNA analysis it has been found that in some cases only the female side of the DNA of these people has been preserved foreward to today’s people. The DNA of the male population of these cultures is completely missing.
r-K Evolutionary Psychology
The r-K evolutionary psychology theory is derived from the study of population numbers in a species in response to their environment.